If there’s one thing Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t short on, it’s her resiliency in continuing the conversation.
It goes without saying that, by this point, that politicians penning books post-election or after a stint in the White House is pretty much common practice. Look at Bernie Saunders, who published his own account one week after the election – or Joe Biden, who’s having his say come November when his post-vice presidency memoir is due to be published.
So it makes sense that Hillary has published her own version of events of the controversial 2016 presidential campaign in her memoir What Happened. What doesn’t make sense, however, is the fact that Donald Trump is trying to shut the conversation down once again.
As the first female US presidential candidate for a major party, many women watched her presidential run with high hopes, only to witness a horror show of sexism unfold. Think Trump’s numerical ratings of women’s bodies; when he said Hillary couldn’t “satisfy” in possible reference to Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky; and when he took to Twitter to call well-respected journalist Megan Kelly a “bimbo” after she successfully grilled him on live TV.
Now, having written a memoir of the experience – in which she says “I’m letting my guard down” – Clinton describes one particular televised debate, in which her ‘pussy-grabbing’ reality star opponent made her feel “incredibly uncomfortable”.
In excerpts from What Happened revealed exclusively on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show, Clinton said Trump’s actions were “not OK”.
“It was the second presidential debate and Donald Trump was looming behind me,” she read. “Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women. Now we were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces.
“It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled […]
“Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, ‘Back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’”
Trump, clearly unhappy with his portrayal in Clinton’s memoir, tweeted: “Crooked Hillary Clinton blames everybody (and everything) but herself for her election loss.
“She lost the debates and lost her direction!”
He followed up his tweet just a few moments later, writing: “The "deplorables" came back to haunt Hillary.
“They expressed their feelings loud and clear. She spent big money but, in the end, had no game!”
Of course, Clinton was unwilling to let Trump have the final word on the subject.
“If you didn't like that book, try this one — some good lessons in here about working together to solve problems,” she wrote, alongside a photo of her children's book called It Takes A Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.
“Happy to send a copy.”
Conversation over – or so we thought.
Unfortunately, though, Trump decided to take things one step further.
The POTUS retweeted an edited video of him hitting a golf ball into Hillary ‘Nasty Woman’ Clinton's back – and her falling over from the impact.
And, unsurprisingly, the clip did not go down well online, with many social media users calling Trump out for encouraging violence against women.
Sadly, Trump isn’t the only one trying to end Hillary’s conversation. The New York Times recently published an article, asking: What’s to be done about Hillary Clinton, the woman who won’t go away?
Vanity Fair, meanwhile, ran an article in June dubbed ‘Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night?’ And, yes, both articles were written by men.
As journalist Hadley Freeman rightly points out in her recent article for The Guardian: “It surely doesn’t need spelling out that no other failed presidential candidate – including the many who have written books about their disappointed hopes – has been on the receiving end of this kind of vitriol, this determined attempt to silence.”
Some have criticised Clinton for not blaming her election defeat on herself. However, it’s worth remembering that she does acknowledge her mistakes in her book.
“I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes. There are plenty, as you’ll see, and they are mine and mine alone,” she writes, according to The Guardian.
Like every great leader knows, failure is a powerful motivator, and thankfully Hillary’s going nowhere anytime soon.
Images: Rex Features